What are my legal options if I was injured in a construction accident?
Las Vegas is seemingly always under construction, and construction workers put their lives and health on the line to keep building the places that make this city great. When injuries happen on construction sites, there must be accountability and fair compensation for the damages sustained.
That's why it's so important to understand your legal options if you were injured on a construction site. In addition to workers' compensation benefits, you may be able to get additional compensation through a third-party claim.
What's a third-party claim in a construction accident case?
You can't sue your employer if their negligence caused your injury. Whatever liability falls on your employer is covered by workers' compensation*, which only covers your medical expenses, a portion of your lost wages, and certain disability benefits. However, that immunity from personal injury lawsuits applies only to your employer. If the negligence of a company other than your employer caused your injury, you can file a third-party claim against that company.
Third-party claims aren't unique to construction accidents, but construction sites have a particularly high likelihood of third-party negligence because they typically have multiple companies working together: general contractors, subcontractors, property managers, and so on. Some accidents are also caused or exacerbated by defective equipment.
What's the benefit of filing a third-party claim?
A third-party personal injury claim can provide compensation for losses that aren't covered by workers' comp, such as:
- Excess wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages (in cases of extreme recklessness or intentional misconduct)
Depending on the nature of your injury and its effects on your life, you could be looking at the difference between tens and hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. A third-party claim may be your best route to getting full value for your injury. It also sends a strong message by holding the negligent company or companies accountable.
What are the challenges involved in a third-party construction accident claim?
Unlike workers' comp, which is a no-fault system, third-party claims are based on fault for the injury. In other words, to recover for you, we have to prove that a company or an employee of a company did something careless that caused your injury. Some examples of negligence on a construction site include:
- Using lower-quality materials than the project calls for, causing a collapse or other serious accident
- Failure to properly secure scaffolding or ladders
- Failure to require use of safety equipment
- Improperly operating heavy equipment
- Improperly braced excavations and trenches
- Failure to properly secure hazardous materials
- Poor safety around electricity and electrical equipment
- Failure to clean up tripping or slipping hazards in a timely manner
Our law firm thoroughly investigates construction accidents to prove that negligence was the cause of your injury, including interviewing witnesses, reviewing physical evidence from the construction site, and consulting experts if necessary. We also take the time to understand the full cost of your injury, including both short-term and long-term losses. A severe injury, like a brain injury or loss of a limb, can have a permanent effect on your life. We put in the extra effort to advocate for the full compensation you deserve for those losses, in negotiations and at trial.
If you were hurt on a construction site, you have the right to know your legal options. Contact us today. We'd be happy to review the details of your case in a free consultation.
*Note that Lasso Injury Law does not handle workers' compensation cases; we represent injured workers with third-party claims. If your case involves both a workers' compensation and personal injury claim, we will refer you to one of the best workers' compensation attorneys in the field that we work with on a regular basis to handle that aspect of your case.